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Glam Media launches Brash for the boys

The new ad network and editorial site is pretty much a testosterone-fueled parallel to Glam. The question is whether either one is equipped to weather the impending ad recession.

Four years after women's media and advertising network Glam Media made its debut, the company has announced its male counterpart: Brash.

Like Glam, it's an editorial hub with both original and partner content, but more importantly, it's a "publisher network" of sites that run Brash ads.

Looking at Brash's smooth, purple-and-charcoal-gray color scheme, you can tell this isn't the same sort of male demographic targeted by the fratty Heavy ad network. Like Glam, Brash aims for upscale audiences--that way, it can charge higher click-through rates. One of the advertisers on the mockup of, not surprisingly, is the impending James Bond flick Quantum of Solace.

Content on Brash is provided through partnerships with outlets such as Rolling Stone, Time, TheCarConnection, and CNET (which publishes CNET News), and there's also some original content, like a "Brash 100" ranking of notable men ranging from Michael Phelps to Richard Branson.

At launch, participants in the ad network come from an array of entertainment, "lifestyle," automotive, and gadget sites: ArtistDirect, SpiralFrog, Monsters and Critics, and, to name a few.

Glam Media has hired a former Fox Interactive Media executive, John Trimble, to handle Brash's advertising, and magazine industry veteran Richard Perez-Feria to oversee the editorial content.

Given the economic climate, Brash already lives up to its name--launching an ad network right now is a bold move, given the fact that ad networks tend to be laying people off at the moment. Even Glam is rumored to have let go of a handful of employees in the past few months.

At the same time, Glam already has an economy-be-damned track record. The company launched an initiative for luxury brand advertising as Wall Street tanked, and last week, it hired a new chief financial officer with initial public offering experience.

We'll probably see before too long whether this strategy proves to be gutsy or foolish.